Can China’s Belt and Road Open Up Landlocked Laos?

cc Flickr Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

As a 420 km high-speed railway nears completion, two Chinese-built highways have been given the green light. Will these projects open up Laos, or make it a crossing point on China’s Belt and Road?

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Backgrounder: 2021 Tunisia Political Crisis

The palace view as Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper meets with Tunisian President Kais Saied, at Carthage Palace, Tunisia, Sept. 30, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando), cc U.S. Secretary of Defense, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:200930-D-BN624-2191_(50402134718).jpg

Examining the background and consequences of the sudden removal of Tunisia’s prime minister.

China Tech Rout: Another Harbinger of US-China Decoupling?

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, Trade Lobby in 2007, cc WiNG, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hong_Kong_Exchange_Trade_Lobby_2007.jpg

A mounting regulatory crackdown is resonating in China’s equity markets, with some US institutional investors looking for the exits.

Protests, Shortages amid Record Mideast Heatwave

GPM Iran-Iraq Water Stress - Aqueduct

A brutal heatwave is exacerbating resource shortages and fueling sectarian conflict in Iran and Iraq.

Why a 1955 Peace Treaty Bans Landlocked Austria from Deploying Submarines

Description: A photograph of the German WWI U-boat UB 14 on the surface of the Black Sea. The submarine's crew is gathered around the tower. Source: Rainer Kolbicz (Ed.), WWI U-boats: UB 14, uboat.net, www.uboat.net/wwi/boats/index.html?boat=UB+14, cc SMU Central University, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:German_U-boat_UB_14_with_its_crew.jpg

Tracing the historical origins of one particularly bizarre postwar restriction.

Winds of Change: Vietnam’s Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewables

Overall view of Dau Tieng Solar Power Project, Vietnam, cc WikiCommons TammyLe, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DAU_TIENG_PROJECT_BIRDSIGHT.jpg

Vietnam is harnessing a grassroots desire for green energy to enact a slow but steady transition away from coal-based electricity generation.

Global Forecast (7-26-2021)


A possible turning point in the post-COVID economic recovery, Brazil’s defense ministry muses on cancelling next year’s election, and the Taliban takes ownership of nearly all of Afghanistan’s borders.

Strategic Commodities 2.0: Global Tin Supply & Demand

cc modified, https://www.peakpx.com/569687/assorted-tin-cans,

Green technologies are expected to create a surge in global tin demand, but Western companies may encounter supply challenges amid the outsize market weight of Asian producers.

Regulatory Hammer Comes Down on China’s Didi

cc Flickr Fuzzy Gerdes, modified, https://flickr.com/photos/fuzzy/5386855886/in/photolist-9d23zC-4EgftN-RvmqT8-9Yvhxe-2korjUb-4bt3sD-2kHgWA8-7DtCkj-CqdUZ-2isGuoZ-2iJdrD6-ceYiiA-4WWuyN-4Xy9GQ-4nwgac-2ki2fYj-2khmnTa-XQkkU3-2khJDUt-2kDQQ82-2iovYaD-9y3fEv-4HCnKy-4nB84N-dRP72e-2j6KXVB-7g3YXV-5dRQ1K-7PgG2P-bMfbvX-2i1SZU-dRUFDo-rZ2Pw-dRUFNu-7TazVA-2kLPPy-76spMi-2kYsNM7-2kYsNJX-DpnPn-2kYkfJM-BFjRDQ-6P19Ao-axskD1-7nzHJh-4ASh2S-NHpDru-qnimPg-k6c77-4EhjYL

Early reports suggest record fines and strict data controls, freezing out future US-based listings by Chinese tech companies.

US and Germany Reach a Deal on Nord Stream 2


Ultimately, this zero-sum decision between two US allies was hardly a Sophie’s choice.

Supply Pinch Sustains Record Iron Prices


Moves by Beijing to cool iron prices can only go so far against a backdrop of lingering supply shortfalls.

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